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SoftBank's Bodhi Fund subscribes to IPVG

MANILA, Philippines - Bodhi Investments LLC, a fund managed by SB China & India Holdings (SBCI), is investing in IP Ventures Inc., a new spin-off company of listed technology conglomerate IPVG Corp.

Bodhi Investments has signed an agreement with IP Ventures to subscribe to 10 percent of the outstanding issued shares of the newly-incorporated private firm. The deal is subject to certain closing conditions.

“We consider the signing of this agreement with the Bodhi Fund as a major milestone for our company. This is indeed a significant event for us,” said Enrique Gonzalez, chief executive officer of IP Ventures.

SBCI is a wholly owned subsidiary of Japan-based telecom and Internet services provider SoftBank Corp., listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. The company is the manager of the Bodhi Fund, which focuses on venture opportunities in China, India and Southeast Asia. Key areas of investment include the Internet, software, telecom value-added services, converged media, entertainment and other industries leveraging technology such as consumer-oriented services, healthcare and financial services. 

IPVG completed the transfer of its operating assets including listed firms IP Converge Data Center and IP E-Games Ventures pursuant to a restructuring plan approved by its shareholders last July. IP Ventures has exactly the same ownership structure as that of IPVG Corp.

IPVG earlier said it would raise capital through IP Ventures following the completion of its restructuring program, which left IPVG as a shell company that can be used for investments in other businesses,

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The group earlier said it would infuse an attractive business asset into IPVG to maximize the value of the listed company.

The market was abuzz with rumors that port king Enrique Razon would buy into IPVG to serve as the backdoor listing vehicle for its $1 billion integrated casino and resort complex within the Pagcor City in Paranaque.

Backdoor listing is a method that private companies can use to get their shares listed on the public stock exchanges without undergoing the regulatory and investor scrutiny of an IPO. Once the asset restructuring is complete, the privately held company becomes listed under the shell company’s name, which gives it access to stock market capital.

IPVG disclosed last week that while it was in talks with interested parties for a possible deal, nothing has been finalized so far.

The company is buying out more minority shareholders who intend to sell their shares. The group is hoping to increase their shares to at least 67.45 percent through the acquisition of 10 million shars from the open market.

Aside from this, IPVG’s major shareholders agreed to a voluntary lock-up of their shares, which will run until December 15, 2011 or upon completion of the implementation of the firm’s restructuring plan whichever ecomes first.

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